Monday, August 1, 2005

The Curious Incident of the Boy Novelist and the Girl Novelist

In a recent issue of The New Yorker there are two literary review articles. One is about a Boy Novelist. The other is about a Girl Novelist. The articles are placed consecutively in the magazine. Both are accompanied by caricatures of the novelists.

The article about Boy Novelist is written by a male. The article about Girl Novelist is written by a female.

Boy Novelist and Girl Novelist both write violent, disturbing novels about the darker sides of the human psyche. Boy Novelist is a quite well-known Classic and published his first novel in 1965. Girl Novelist seems to be on the way to Classic and published her first novel in 1985.

Boy Novelist "brilliantly ventriloquizes the King James Bible, Shakespearean and Jacobean tragedy, Melville, Conrad, and Faulkner."

"As a child," we are told in the other article, "Girl Novelist was crazy about Shakespeare."

Boy Novelist gets compared to Shakespeare, Conrad, and Melville a lot in the article about him. Girl Novelist gets compared to herself when she was younger and to herself when she is writing fiction and when she is writing memoir.

The article about Boy Novelist is three and one half pages long. It uses the word "myth" or words made out of the word "myth" eleven times.

The article about Girl Novelist says that she had a hysterectomy and that "she is a size 20." The article about Girl Novelist contains twenty paragraphs. Six of those are biographical. The article about Boy Novelist says that he "lives quietly in New Mexico."

The article about Girl Novelist says, "In 2003, Girl Novelist published her memoir, which, for all its useful information, I admire less than her other books, for it alone seems to complain."

This is what it says on the
New Yorker web site now: "This week in the magazine, Ken Auletta writes about the battle between Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer for control of the morning television audience."


  1. Time for me to catch up on my New Yorker reading! Makes me wonder whether the female article writer is brainwashed enough to be blind to her spin, or whether the truth lies on the editorial cutting room floor.


  2. "Aargh" is's my you care!

    the new yorker is basically amerikan schlock culture now (with a much higher credit limit), and so any organized criticism of the status quo--like feminism--is for losers. Real people solve their problems via plastic surgery, prescription drugs, and the occasional empowerment seminar. so--yeah, she's brainwashed enuf. if you want a really woman-hating, woman-authored new yorker article, I'll try to find their review of The Sexual Life of Catherine M....